Affording Lake Ridge Academy
An exceptional education is the best investment you can make in your child's future and our families find great value in the Lake Ridge Academy experience. Our small class sizes, highly involved teachers, challenging curriculum and breadth of real-world opportunities create an educational environment that fuels a student’s passion for learning that positively influences their future potential. In fact, our students are highly sought by colleges and universities because of their education at Lake Ridge Academy, with each student earning an average of $80,000 in college scholarships.
For most families, an independent school education is a significant investment that requires careful financial planning. Lake Ridge Academy is committed to enrolling a culturally and socioeconomically diverse student body, as we believe this diversity enriches the educational experience for our students. We strive to see that no talented and motivated student is denied the opportunities afforded by a Lake Ridge Academy education simply because of cost.
Financial Assistance & Scholarships
With approximately 70 percent of Lake Ridge Academy students receiving financial assistance, Lake Ridge Academy provides financial support to more families than any other independent school in Northeast Ohio. Our average financial award including scholarships, merit awards, and financial aid, is $13,943. Lake Ridge Academy offers a number of financial assistance options for families, including need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships and grants.
Over half of Lake Ridge Academy families rely on financial aid to fund their child’s education. Our financial aid program awards up to 60% of the annual tuition.
Awards are allocated on an annual basis after a review of the family’s financial information. Lake Ridge Academy uses School and Students Services (SSS), a third party organization, to generate financial need reports. Once a student receives an award, the school is committed to continued financial support at a similar level (families should expect tuition to increase 3-5% annually) if the financial status of the family remains consistent and the student remains in good standing at the school both academically and behaviorally.
Scholarships, based on academic merit and leadership abilities, are available to students entering grades 6 through 11, with a maximum award of $10,000 per year. Scholarship awards will continue through graduation and will not be altered, augmented, or replaced, provided the student maintains his or her academic eligibility. In addition, there are restricted and endowed scholarships available to assist qualifying students who might not otherwise be able to obtain a Lake Ridge Academy education.
The Carol Klimas Scholarship Fund was created in 2018 at the time of President Carol Klimas’ retirement in recognition of her longstanding devotion to deserving students who have the ability to thrive at Lake Ridge Academy. The scholarship is awarded to entering students in grades 6-11 with preference to students with demonstrated financial need and whose actions, community service or other leadership suggests a high degree of integrity and respect for others.
The Chloe Geiselman Scholarship Fund was established in 1992 for Lower School students by Chris Geiselman and Greta Lesher in memory of their daughter, Chloe.
The General Scholarship Fund was established in 1993 to support K-12 students with demonstrated financial need.
The Harding Family Scholarship is a competitive, need-sensitive, and merit-based scholarship for Upper School students from Olmsted Falls or Berea. The renewable scholarship offers up to $25,000 per year for four years.
The Herbert W. and Mildred N. Kaatz Scholarship supports students with demonstrated financial need and was established by Herb and Don Kaatz ’70 in 1992 in honor of Mildred, their wife and mother respectively, who was actively engaged with Lake Ridge Academy.
The J.A.G. Scholarship supports students with the highest level of financial need and was established in 2014 with a gift from Amy Bircher-Bruyn to recognize her mother and son, Joshua Hammond ‘24. The J.A.G. Scholarship is named for Joshua, Amy and Gregory, which is Amy’s grandmother’s and mother’s maiden name.
The Jane Maczuzak Scholarship Fund was created to honor former Lake Ridge Academy faculty member Jane Maczuzak and supports deserving Upper School students who have an interest in science.
The Joyce B. Sommer Scholarship was established in 2001 by Ken Sommer and his family who have been part of the school’s community since Lake Ridge Academy first opened its doors in 1963. The scholarship honors Ken’s late wife, Joyce, who died of cancer and is awarded without restriction to a deserving student each year.
The John W. Kemper Scholar Award was established in 1980 by John and Betty Kemper to support students entering grades 9-11 whose outstanding academic achievements could make an exceptional contribution to the school.
The LRA Alumni Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 by T.J. Bittel ’03 and the Class of 2003 to support academically qualified Upper School students with demonstrated financial need.
The Michael Benjamins Scholarship was established in 2000 by William R. Litzler, President of C.A. Litzler Co., in memory of Lake Ridge Academy alumnus, Michael Benjamins ’94 to support students with demonstrated financial need.
The Public Service Scholarship was established in 2018 to support our community by offering a small number of high school scholarships (grades 9-11) for the children of active public service employees including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and military personnel. These scholarships are awarded to students with a strong track record of academic achievement, who have at least one parent who is a full-time public service employee. The awarded scholarships substantially reduce the annual tuition for the duration of the student’s education at Lake Ridge Academy.
The Voutsiotis Scholarship was created in 2012 by George, Vivy and Alexia ’07 Voutsiotis in memory of their daughter and sister, Yanna ‘05. The merit scholarship honors one or more students entering grades 9-12 who embody Lake Ridge Academy core values and demonstrate a combination of extraordinary excellence in athletics, academics, and community service.
Grants are offered to students entering kindergarten through grade 12, and are based upon factors such as demonstrated need, academic performance, contributions to leadership, service, or extracurricular activities.
Tuition (2018 - 2019)
Note that the following tuition figures are for domestic students only.
Tuition and Fees: $19,650
Average Financial Assistance Award: $7,556
Lower School (1-5)
Tuition and Fees: $20,390 - $24,050
Average Financial Assistance Award: $11,325
Middle School (6-8)
Tuition and Fees: $24,620 - $26,150
Average Financial Assistance Award: $12,941
Upper School (9-12)
Tuition and Fees: $27,760 - $31,170
Average Financial Assistance Award: $17,494
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Only those families who feel that they are unable to afford the full tuition price and want to apply for financial assistance need to submit the forms.
No. Although application for enrollment occurs simultaneously, it is considered a completely separate process. Financial circumstances are not considered in deciding the suitability of an applicant for admission to Lake Ridge Academy.
Application is made through SSS. Through this independent third party, an application can be completed online. Based on the financial information provided, a recommendation is made to Lake Ridge Academy of an estimated amount that a family can contribute to educational expenses. This base recommendation helps us make fair and objective decisions regarding tuition.
Both custodial and non-custodial parents who are divorced, separated, or never married are expected to contribute to educational costs (unless a legal settlement exists) and are required to submit an SSS application. If parents/guardians reside in separate households, the income and expenses of both households are considered when making tuition recommendations. In exceptional cases where one parent cannot comply, the custodial parent should submit a written explanation to [email protected]. The absence of information from either parent or guardian may prevent determination and/or significantly impact the tuition amount that is established. Families can send supporting documents directly to SSS by mail or scan and email them. The address and instructions for submission are on the SSS website. The required supporting documents are your most recent tax return, W-2s and 1099s.
Many factors are considered when calculating an affordable tuition for each family, including those listed below. Specific factors considered include income, assets, family size, unusual expenses, and other discretionary costs. More details can be found on the SSS website.
- Income: Pre-tax earnings from wages, business or investments. The costs considered are not exactly the same factors used by the IRS to calculate taxable income. Therefore, all schedules must be submitted. If one custodial parent is unemployed, an annual income assumption for that parent will be entered.
- Assets: Includes savings, major liquid assets, and investments, as well as student assets (savings, trust accounts, etc.). Parent age is taken into account with respect to consideration of retirement savings.
- Family size: The number of people in a household is considered when calculating living-allowance estimates. Available discretionary income is adjusted by estimated expenditures including housing, food, medical needs, etc.
- Expenses: Includes the amount you pay for other children in your home (childcare, college, etc.), educational loan payments and other debt, medical costs that are not covered by insurance, unusual expenses (such as caring for an aging parent), and discretionary expenditures.
The tuition for each family will be established by Lake Ridge Academy's Financial Assistance Committee in review meetings. The committee will base their determination on the recommendation made by SSS and any additional details and financial information provided by the applicants.
If you wish the Financial Assistance Committee to consider particular details related to your financial profile that are not adequately relayed in the required documentation (recent loss of job, for instance), a letter of explanation should be submitted directly to [email protected]. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to support statements in your letter.
Applicants who applied for financial assistance and are accepted to Lake Ridge Academy will receive an enrollment contract with their customized tuition amount within one week of the Committee's determination. Contracts must be signed and returned, with the enrollment deposit, by the specified date on the contract to ensure that the financial awards will remain available.
Yes. All materials submitted and the tuition established for each family is kept fully confidential. In turn, we ask that families not share information about their specific tuition with others.